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$50m needed to complete UG Medical Center – Minister

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Health Minister

The Ministry of Health says it is hoping to secure USD 50 million for the completion of phase 1, and the development of the phase 2 of the University of Ghana Medical Centre.

This is in spite of reports that the phase 1 is largely complete and ready for use, but the government is in a tussle with the University of Ghana over who should manage the hospital.

The sector minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, who made the announcement today [Thursday] at the Ministry of Information’s meet the press session, said the government is committed to ensuring that the medical facility commences operation, and becomes a hub for medical tourism after its completion.

“Plans are underway to operationalize the University of Ghana Medical Center after the completion of Phase 1, which is still not completed. Efforts are underway to complete phase one for operationalization. A cabinet memo has been submitted to cabinet for consideration to procure $50m for completion of Phase I, and development of Phase 2, which will consist of neurology, pediatrics surgery unit, VIP maternity care with assisted reproductive technology center, IVF and day care surgery, facility for cardio and open heart surgery, additional surgery for medical training, robotics center, commercial out-patient pharmacy, provision of substation to boost power supply and staff housing, 32 bedroom apartments. That is likely to begin and be the first base for health tourism in Ghana,” he said.

Concerns have been raised about why the facility remains unused, although it was commissioned by former President John Mahama to begin operation in 2016.

Background

Citi News gathered that, the first phase of the Medical Centre, which was completed in November 2016, is yet to be operational following disagreements over the legitimate manager of the facility.

In 2012, government signed a contract with Messrs. Engineering and Development Consultant (EDC) of Israel to build the first phase of the facility and hand it over to the university.

The university designated 400 acres of land for the entire project.

Sources closely involved with the project revealed to Citi News that, following this contract, another agreement was signed between the Ministry of Health and the University of Ghana in 2015, which gave ownership of the $217 million facility to the university.

But the Ministry of Health in recent times, is laying claims to the facility, leading to uncertainties over who has the responsibility to manage the centre.

Thus, staff recruitment has stalled, and ultramodern medical equipment lie idle as they collect dust.

Meanwhile, the National Council for Tertiary Education, has said the challenges have been resolved, and the facility is expected to comment operation next year.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana